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New Ways to Think About Treating ADHD

April 10, 2016
Plain English Version


New studies show many people with ADHD are drawn to new and exciting experiences. They can be very impatient and restless with routine activities.

This research states that if you have the “illness,” the real problem may be that everyday life feels routine and not very interesting to your brain.

ADHD may not be a disorder for people who have lives filled with excitement and adventure.

A life filled with activities that require focus, such as sitting in a classroom or working at repetitive tasks, is hard for a person with ADHD.

Only 3 to 5 percent of the adult population has ADHD. Many people simply “grow out” of it. The brains of adults who had had ADHD as children but no longer have it as adults look just like the brains of people who had never had it.

ADHD is on the rise in youngsters between the ages of 4 and 17. Most alarmingly, more than 10,000 toddlers ages 2 and 3 were found to be taking drugs for ADHD.

Computers and social media may be driving the increase. Using them is much more exciting than sitting in a classroom. Teachers seeing the bored behavior of students may think they are seeing ADHD and tell parents.

Adults may grow out of ADHD because they have more freedom to choose how they live and what kind of work they do. For example, a restless kid might choose to be an entrepreneur, not an accountant.

How to help ADHD kids? One recommendation is to place them in small classes. The classes should be filled with hands-on-learning, self-paced computer work and skill building tasks.

Experts say that many ADHD kids will still need to take safe, effective and helpful drugs like Adderall and Ritalin. However, they also say that we should not rush to medicate their curiosity, energy and novelty-seeking behavior.

In the right environment, some ADHD traits are not a disability. They can be a real asset.

Source: The New York Times October 31, 2014

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